Attrition: Combat Lifesaver


September 15, 2007: The U.S. Army have more than tripled the number of medics by putting some soldiers through a 40 hour CLS (Combat Lifesaver) course in the most common medical procedures soldiers can perform to deal with the most dangerous types of wounds usually encountered.These CLS trained soldiers are not medics, of course, but they do make available in combat crucial medial treatments.

As a result of programs like CLS, the death rate in Iraq and Afghanistan is less than half what it was in Vietnam, Korea and World War II.The lower death rate is alsodue to better equipment and training, but increasingly it's because of the medical training given to the troops. The basic first aid has been improved as well, and the medical supplies, especially the bandages are much more effective at stopping bleeding.

The Combat Lifesaver course teaches the troops how to insert breathing tubes and emergency surgical procedures to restore breathing. The troops with the CLS training are not junior medics, but simply have skills most likely to be needed in lifesaving situations, when a medic is not available. The additional emergency medical training, and new emergency first aid gear have saved hundreds of lives, and reduced the severity of even more wounds.


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